KY Policy Blog

New Reports Highlight Kentucky’s Gains in Care and Health

By Dustin Pugel
March 17, 2017

Despite claims that Kentucky’s coverage gains were not met with access to care and better health, several recent reports and other data show quite the opposite is true. The well documented decline in the share of Kentuckians without health insurance is already reaping other rewards.

Access to care is increasing

Kentuckians are able to get to the doctor more than before. According to a recent Commonwealth Fund ranking of state health systems, Kentucky jumped from 47th in the country to 39th between 2013 and 2015, in large part because healthcare read more

What’s at Stake in ACA Repeal by Kentucky Congressional District

By Dustin Pugel
March 10, 2017

Kentucky is among the states that gained the most from the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Our rate of uninsured dropped dramatically, more people are getting needed preventive care, and already, Kentuckians are reporting having better health. Kentucky’s 5th congressional district has the 3rd largest decrease in the percent of people uninsured of all 435 districts, and has the 3rd largest number of people enrolled in the Medicaid expansion.

All of these historic gains are at stake now with the American Health Care Act (AHCA), designed to repeal and replace the read more

House Health Repeal Plan Would Worsen Kentucky’s Drug Problems

By Ashley Spalding
March 10, 2017

The devastating impacts of Kentucky’s opioid epidemic are well known and far-reaching. As a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), more Kentuckians struggling with addiction problems have been able to access much-needed treatment. However, the House GOP plan to repeal the ACA, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), would roll back opportunities for treatment — inevitably worsening the drug and overdose crisis in our state.

While the opioid addiction epidemic is a national problem, Kentucky has been one of the hardest hit states. In 2000, nine counties in the read more

Coverage for Kentucky Seniors Threatened by House Plan

By Jason Bailey
March 9, 2017

The House GOP plan repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) includes a number of measures that would reduce coverage and affordability for Kentucky’s older adults. If the proposal becomes law, more seniors will fall into poverty or lose access to care.

One element of the plan involves a change in tax credits. The ACA provides credits to help people buy coverage in the insurance marketplaces. These credits are bigger for low-income people and phase out as incomes increase. The House plan changes those credits so they are no longer based read more

House Plan Unwinds Coverage Gains and Makes Harmful Changes to Medicaid Program

By Dustin Pugel
March 7, 2017

By several measures, Kentucky has been the nation’s biggest winner from the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Nearly seven years later, those gains and more are at risk in the recently released American Health Care Act (AHCA) – which not only fails to replace the ACA, but goes beyond it to restructure the Medicaid program in a way that will further reduce access to coverage and benefits. Together, these changes will rip health insurance away from 24 million Americans according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Proposal Unravels Medicaid Expansion and Restructures read more

Kentucky’s Experience with High Risk Pool Shows Dangers of ACA Repeal

By Dustin Pugel
February 17, 2017

Repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) means going back in time to before the law existed or to some as yet undefined “replacement” plan. Some in favor of repeal suggest a new plan should contain what are called high risk pools, including in the recent “Obamacare Repeal and Replace” policy brief circulated by Republican lawmakers in Washington. But evidence from Kentucky’s former high risk pool called Kentucky Access shows how such ideas fall short of the protections and coverage in the ACA.

What is a High Risk Pool?

Kentucky read more

Harsher Criminal Penalties Not a Proven Way to Address Heroin Problem

By Ashley Spalding
February 15, 2017

We all want to see Kentucky address its devastating drug problems. The issue touches individuals and families from all walks of life across Kentucky, and too many of us have friends, relatives and neighbors who have been hurt in some way by drug addiction.

Senate Bill 14, which passed the Senate yesterday, increases criminal penalties for possession of heroin and fentanyl, drugs that are most frequently involved in overdose deaths, as a solution to these problems . This approach would lock up more Kentuckians struggling with addiction for longer periods read more

Kentucky Would Have the Second Highest Rate of Job Loss With Healthcare Law Repeal

By Dustin Pugel
January 31, 2017

If the Affordable Care Act is repealed, Kentucky’s rate of job loss would be the second worst of any state with the elimination of an estimated 55,949 jobs or nearly 3 percent of the state’s workforce, according to a new analysis by the Economic Policy Institute.

Kentucky’s job loss as a share of its employment would be higher than any other state except New Mexico.

The report also shows that repeal would take away $4.1 billion in federal spending from Kentucky’s economy while the tax cuts that would also be read more

130,000 Kentuckians in Individual Market Would Lose Coverage from Health Reform Repeal

By Dustin Pugel
January 26, 2017

A partial repeal of the Affordable Care Act would likely result in close to half a million people becoming uninsured in Kentucky, including those who buy health coverage directly from an insurance company. According to the Urban Institute, 130,000 Kentuckians who are individually insured would lose coverage. Because the ACA requires everyone to have insurance or face a penalty, a larger, healthier and younger pool of plan-holders has made it possible for insurance companies to cover people who have conditions that make them more expensive to cover like asthma, diabetes, read more

A County-by-County Look at Kentuckians at Risk if Congress Rolls Back Health Coverage

By Dustin Pugel
January 9, 2017

Nearly one in three Kentuckians has health insurance either through Medicaid or with a federally subsidized Qualified Health Plan (QHP) from the health insurance marketplace (formerly Kynect). If Congress moves forward with repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and making big structural changes to the traditional Medicaid program, Kentuckians across the state are at risk of losing coverage or having it weakened. We’ve previously described how an ACA repeal would hurt state-wide, but county and regional impacts would vary.

The map below shows the share of Kentuckians that have insurance read more